As part of a group of friends, gathered with our families, at a home on Orange Blossom Road for a Friday evening of riding horses and BBQing, I was among the unfortunate witnesses to a horrific accident. The sickening sound of screeching tires and rolling metal on the concrete is something I won’t soon forget.
By some ‘divine intervention,’ our group included three off-duty Bay Area firefighter/paramedics. All three men took immediate charge of the nightmarish scene and its victims, while awaiting Oakdale Fire and EMS.
I am the proud and humbled wife of one of these men. I have a renewed appreciation and gratefulness for what my husband, and these selfless and amazing heroes do every day for citizens in need … whether it be on the job or off. The three off duty FF/medics are all from Central County Fire Department in Burlingame. They are Jesse Cendana, Billy Vella, and Dan Paulus. They would never wish for or seek out this recognition. They were simply in the right place at the right time to lend a professional hand to this tragic event.
Our hearts break for the family of the deceased. We pray for the recovery of the second victim, who was flown away by helicopter.
Our children were also (shielded and protected) witnesses to this unforeseen tragedy. As parents, we used a very frightening experience to teach them some most valuable life lessons.
Please remember to drive carefully, and always wear your seatbelt.
God Bless all First Responders!
(Oakdale resident and proud firefighter wife)